Hello beautiful people of Expansive Capacity!
It’s time once again for Superpower Sunday! 🙂
As always, this is all about how we can implement wee changes that may turbocharge our *existing* superpowers so that we don’t dim our own lights due to inertia, stress, or any other upper-limit problem that reveals itself along our path.
In this month’s Superpower Sunday, we’re gonna finish off our deep dive on “Your Relationship with Shoulds” by separating shoulds from the primal emotions that exist to ensure our survival. Let’s start with the most direct connection: should –> shame.
Shame is pretty much baked into our shoulds — there’s an element of “if you DON’T do this thing, you will have something to be ashamed of” there, as that’s how the folks who use shoulds ON US get what they want out of us by flipping that *obliger* switch.
And as you’ll recall from this month’s work, our earliest relationship with shoulds formed when our primary caregiver indicated that — if we didn’t change something about the way we were behaving — our source of survival could be cut off. That evolutionary wiring (in which our setpoint is all about “don’t die”) got very early messaging that complying with shoulds was a matter of surviving.
Since there are 5 primary emotions built into us to help us survive — fear, anger, grief, shame, and joy — when shoulds are a DIRECT trigger for a full 20%, of course, we’ll do whatever it takes to make ourselves feel OTHER emotions about those shoulds. We’ll make ourselves feel angry when a should is present. We’ll fear what will happen if we don’t do the should. We’ll even feel JOY when we *do* execute a should — even if we’re not lit up by the task at all, on our own.
We feel joy for doing the should because it communicates to our primal brain that we’re more likely to survive when we do the should.
Your Superpower Sunday directive is to tap into the joy around NOT doing the shoulds.
“I’m tired. I have so much to do but I really want to take a nap. Ugh, but I should get those things checked off my to-do list.”
Take a breath.
Longer exhale than inhale.
Now ask yourself: “Which of the five emotions is activated by this should? And which is activated by the WANT I’m having?”
When I recently wanted a nap but felt a should coming at me about my list, I identified the core emotion around the should as FEAR. And then I identified the core emotion around the want as JOY.
And then I chose joy.
I took the nap — gleefully — then woke up, tackled the “should” (oh, and by then, it wasn’t a should; it was the next want, since I was now well-rested and ready to tackle the should from a more want-like place) and my fears never came to be.
Because I didn’t push against the fears; I leaned into the joy.
Share with me: How can you take this mindfulness, this presence, this breath and extra moment for identifying the core emotion behind the shoulds… and then pivoting toward the joy first… and begin to transform your relationship with shoulds? Comments are open just below!
Admin Note: Your February Aligned Hustle Calendar is at the Welcome page if you haven’t already snagged your copy. (And of course, I invite you to check out my astro goodies if going deeper with this feels aligned.)
Let’s keep jamming on this topic at the dojo ’til February’s topic, Your Relationship with Change, rolls out on the 1st. Woo HOO!
Sending you so much love, now and always!